SMU Libraries Research Data Management Support Policy​


The purpose of the SMU Libraries Research Data Management Support Policy is to provide guidelines for the creation, management, dissemination, and preservation of research data produced by the SMU research community. This policy ensures SMU Libraries' commitment to supporting the research community's needs at each stage of the research data lifecycle. Specific areas of support include data management planning, access, storage and preservation, description, instruction and training, and copyright.

Operating Scope and Principles

  • The SMU Libraries Research Data Management Support has been designed to help ensure that researchers' data is findable and accessible, preserved over the long-term, and effectively managed to meet the requirements of funding agencies.
  • SMU Libraries' support is limited to research data that is generated by SMU faculty, researchers, students, and staff ("researcher") as part of the researcher's duties while employed by SMU.
  • Each project is unique and will be analyzed in terms of its specialized data management plan, the online platform that will be used for accessibility, metadata records and/or read-me file creation, long-term digital preservation, and data retention requirements.
  • Libraries is an institutional partner in the DMP Tool and will use it to help guide researchers in writing their data management plans.
  • Each researcher is responsible for ensuring that the data deposited:
    • does not violate copyright law;
    • does not contain information that violates individuals' privacy, HIPAA, FERPA, and/or university IRB and IACUC regulations;
    • does not make available any type of confidential details that are part of the project; and/or
    • adheres to all legal, regulatory, organizational, disciplinary, and professional requirements;
    • includes consent forms allowing the data to be made public.
  • SMU Libraries is not in a position to evaluate, curate, clean, edit, or verify the accuracy, reliability, and/or integrity of any data or the underlying design and methodology of the study, nor do we provide advice on compliance issues.
  • Many online platforms, as well as SMU's digital preservation archive, can accept a wide variety of file formats. In general, non-proprietary and unencrypted formats, with documented standards and wide acceptance within the research community, are preferred. For more information, please see the "Types of Data" and "File Formats" section of the DMPTool's Data Management General Guidance.
  • Unless otherwise noted, there is no limit on the total number of files that can be made accessible and/or preserved. File-size limitations depend on the platform. SMU Scholar has a 2 GB per file limit; Box has 15 GB per file limit; and third-party platforms will vary. Projects that exceed a total of 1 TB may require funding for long-term preservation storage.
  • Data may be embargoed for up to five years in SMU Scholar. Other systems will vary in this regard.
  • Unless otherwise noted, SMU Libraries will retain the research data for a minimum of five years. At that point, SMU Libraries will contact the researcher and/or SMU Department to determine if the data is still valid and requires an additional storage term. If no response is received within one month of notification, SMU Libraries is authorized to delete the data.
  • Individual and group training are provided by request and can be tailored to the specific needs of each project. Topics include research data management basics, research data management planning, metadata creation, digital preservation, and copyright.
  • We will refer questions that are beyond the scope and expertise of this service to other appropriate groups on campus, accordingly.

For more information, contact